Mike Ashley put season ticket prices up in every section of St James Park this summer.
Some fans having to pay over 20% more than they did in the 2017/18 season.
This is at a time when there has never been more money in the Premier League than there is now, and the idea of putting prices up has largely faded away. The reasoning being that there is no need/justification to do it, unless of course you want to screw that little bit extra out of the fans…
However, season/match ticket price rises aren’t that terrible in isolation, as back in the days of Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson and waiting lists for season tickets, Newcastle fans proved that paying relatively high level prices weren’t a barrier to filling the stadium to watch good football.
The price rises weren’t a great start but hopes were high of a serious raise in quality of the first team in the summer transfer window.
Up to a point Newcastle supporters understood there had to be some restraint on spending the previous season (though not to the extent Mike Ashley had enforced) after promotion BUT surely one year on and with a second season of Premier League riches guaranteed, this time it would be different…
Instead we endured a gruelling and frustrating summer, with even those signings that were eventually made, missing most/all of pre-season training and matches with their new teammates.
However, the headline news was the £20m+ transfer profit on deals in and out, Watford the only other club to make a profit and that was due to them selling Richarlison for over £40m. It was bewildering that Ashley would take things to this length, at a time when all of NUFC’s rivals were spending everything they could to strengthen and try to ensure safety.
Amazingly, we were to discover that this was only scratching the surface of what the club’s owner had done (or not done) in his pursuit of personal benefit to the detriment of Newcastle United.
The Newcastle United Fans Forum minutes were finally released in early October from a meeting on 24 September.
These took things to a whole new level.
The minutes made clear that despite Rafa’s pleas, there would be no proper investment in the Academy, as Mike Ashley believes there is no guarantee of it producing first team players.
As for the state of the art training complex promised in 2013, no work scheduled on that because it was felt money needed to be prioritised elsewhere.
Then the final kicker…hidden away was the revelation that Mike Ashley has taken an amount of money out of the club following the summer transfer window. No figure given but I think we can be confident that it will be an eight figure sum.
Could he be any more blatant?
Charge the fans more money, insist on a profit in the transfer window, then take millions out of the club.
Does anybody really need any more convincing as to why we desperately need this man away from our football club?
Mike Ashley didn’t need the V sign.